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27 February 2013

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No disrespect of Michael Somare is intended in the article.

What he did required tremendous determination and courage. No one can take that away from him. The backbone that he displayed in the 1970s is sorely needed in PNG today.

The aberrations of the last couple of years can probably be put down to age and cynicism.

In his quiet moments he must be completely outraged that no one else was able to carry his vision further.

It would be great to hear his take on the last 37 years and where he thinks PNG is going.

True talk

I personally salute Sir Michael Somare. If it was not for him and Pangu Pati, PNG will be just like West Papua or New Caledonia.

Our Melanesian neighbours are still governed by foreign powers and are slaves in their own land. What are Australia, New Zealand, USA and the UN doing about this issue?

I am glad I have the freedom to be educated in an institution of higher learning and be able to write a comment here.

I only wish people who smear the name of this great man should have been around during his younger days and greatest political career as Chief Minister.

The comments by Kela Kapkora clearly demonstrate that he will not respect to even smack his own father. The current government was formed by power hungery political thieves who stormed into the GG's house and threatened him to sign papers to approve a government of the day.

The prime minister of the present government must serve time at Bomana gaol together with the Leader of the Opposition.

To be specific, Peter O'Neill, Belden Namah and Michael Ogio must serve time in jail for disobeying a Supreme Court Order. Full stop!

More.

All through his political life, Somare seemed to act mostly on impulse and not on rationality. Anyway, he was at the right place at the right time to land himself the accolades he is given today.

There are some people who equally deserved praise but Somare hoarded it for himself and henchmen like Matane.

Anyhow, he has done more damage than good to the people of PNG and their heritage. Now, he is a rat in the O'Neill camp.

He has to put his tail between his legs in this current camp forever because if he wants to chest beat again, of course they will dent his legacy.

I would concur with Harry and Phil, two ex-kiaps spot on in their assessment.

Even if Genghis Khan himself walked into parliament with a proposal to make PNG the next America in 10 years, 90% of the MPs would not know who he is.

Education of the masses (and the MPs) is a start.

It is in the natural order of 'growing up'.

Hopefully a positive shift in the illiteracy rate will cause a general change in our lazy attitudes and superstitious mindsets which in turn will allow us to comprehend the finer aspects of governance, accountability etc.

Meanwhile we can write about it for the masses to read when they eventually can.

It is curious why PNG wasn't encouraged to include an upper house in the mix. I have a vague memory about it being discussed and seem to remember that the idea was considered too complex for people to understand. Dumb reasoning at its worst.

It is left wing and centre left orthodoxy that the establishment of a single centralised state and the creation of a ruling elite in a non-communist state, as has occurred in PNG, creates the ideal environment for capitalists and multinationals, like resource developers and globalists, to exploit the ordinary people.

Another orthodoxy is that democracy is impossible without a universal and comprehensive system of education.

Add to that the theory, which was well known at the time, that unicameral parliaments create ideal conditions for corruption and the mix becomes really fatal.

And I think I disagree with those commentators who say that this is history and water under the bridge and we should be thinking only of the present.

I am a firm believer in the adage that if you don't know your history you just keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

And there's nothing wrong with being a lapun kiap as the academics would have it. Perhaps if the kiaps had been left alone to organise it all things would be very different now.

Phil - A couple of points or perhaps pints?

The Westminster system of government only functions effectively if there is some form of house of review or senate in place to provide the necessary accountability factors through associated checks and balances provided by such bicameral arrangements.

I think that the Whitlam government’s decision to grant PNG early independence was based upon pragmatic rather than altruistic motives as the Australian government of the time was concerned about being dragged into trying to resolve the insurrections issues occurring in the Gazelle and Bougainville and wanted out.

The later PNG government’s decision to create provincial government status was also flawed as the there was not enough trial time given to bench testing the previous Area Authority system which formed the nucleus of the introduced provincial government system.

Tingting bilong wanpela lapun ex kiap.

Thank you Phil, a wonderful piece.

Hopefully Gabriel Ramoi our Aitape /Lumi MP at the time may like to comment as he was a major part of the inner circle of the government "think tank".

He was one of the few in parliament with a university degree and many said the brightest among them.

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